Continental is back at the top of its game with this new rear tyre, the Kryptotal.
The result of a huge investment and R&D process, this Kryptotal is part of a brand-new range Continental is banking on to get to back among the best mountain bike tyres in the gravity tyre game. After a period of not having quite the right products, its new tyres are the result of a three-year process developing and refining exact rubber blends, casing lay ups and tread patterns.
This Kryptotal is the main do-it-all, mixed conditions tyre, and the only new Conti coming in end-specific models. The rear here has fat ramped central lugs and is optimised for better braking, and a front option with squarer central knobs should have a more sure-footed feel that lays down slightly more rubber.
If you want the oddly-named Kryptotal in the stickiest rubber, you’ll currently need to go with the full DH casing, so enduro riders craving maximum grip, but not max weight on the front will have to wait a while longer for the perfect version.
After riding the SuperSoft version during the launch at Dyfi Bike Park, we only got our hands on this Soft compound, so couldn’t directly compare ultimate grip levels or wear life against other maximum tack blends, but our experience at Dyfi told us Conti are definitely in the ballpark with huge grip levels. In terms of sheer grip and cornering hold, the Soft compound here is more comparable to Maxxis’s MaxxTerra than MaxxGrip, but still feels pretty squidgy under the standard ‘thumbnail’ test – if not quite as slow rebounding as E*thirteen’s MoPo rubber or the Maxxis Assegai here.
This Enduro casing version has a single ply 110tpi carcass and three layers underneath, as well as the latest Apex protection at the bottom of the sidewall and bead to resist sidewall cuts and pinch flats. It’s pretty solid too, as you can go right down in pressure without eroding stability.
Kryptotal lays a lot of rubber down and, on both the heavier DH tyre (that should have a stiffer casing) and this version, there’s a calm and planted ride where the tyre traces and dulls edges really well and rubs out small vibrations and chatter way better than previous Contis.
We had a few moments on polished-by-traffic surfaces and slimy dirt where the back tyre missed a beat or lost traction under power climbing, but during braking, turning or getting bounced about at speed over wet roots and rocks there’s excellent calmness and security.
Considering the damped feel and serious tread, rolling speed is fine too – it holds speed well over rough stuff and is better than a Michelin DH in terms of friction and drag on fireroads and tarmac, so there’s no excessive sapping of pedal efforts.
Contis latest products are a huge step for the German brand with no glaring issues or quirks. Initial wear life seems decent and this sorted, tough all-rounder is a welcome addition to the market.